The prospect of becoming a hate figure in Scotland scared Alex Ferguson off the idea of becoming England manager.
Ferguson reveals in his autobiography, which is published tomorrow, that he was approached twice by the Football Association (FA) with a view to taking over as England head coach.
Ferguson says the FA wanted him to succeed Glenn Hoddle and Kevin Keegan when they left the role in 1999 and 2000 respectively.
Weary of the shockwaves such a decision would make up in his native Glasgow, however, it took little time for him to reject the offer.
(Ferguson at a press conference in London yesterday. Picture: PA)
“There was no way I could manage England,” Ferguson said at a press conference to launch ’My Autobiography’ in London yesterday.
“Not in a million years. Think of me going back to Scotland. Dearie me.
“It was my great opportunity in life to relegate them!
“There was no way I could have taken the England job. Adam Crozier was the first one to come to me. ”The second time they approached Martin Edwards and I told him just forget it I am not interested.
“Crozier came to Old Trafford and made me the offer to manage the team. It didn’t take me long to answer – 10 seconds.”
Ferguson vowed to retire shortly after, but changed his mind just as Sven-Goran Eriksson had been lined up to replace him.
Ferguson scoffed at suggestions that he could perform another U-turn in the coming years, and insisted yesterday that there was no chance of him managing Australia as had been suggested by former United stopper Mark Bosnich.
Both Australia and England will be at the finals in Brazil next summer.
Eight years later the tournament is due to take place in Qatar.
There are concerns about staging the competition in the summer heat of the Emirate, and Ferguson thinks there is no option but to stage the World Cup in winter, despite the problems that would cause to the domestic schedule.
He said: “I won’t be going there in the summer. That would be difficult. I think it will end up being in the winter.
“That looks to be on the agenda now.”